Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Craziness and Writing

I've gotten behind on my blogs. Combination of being in mourning after losing Sammy and discovering my father is not doing well at all. Put on top of that the holidays, which is not always a happy time for everyone, my crazy work schedule, trying to get the house ready to sell and the tail end of a divorce, and well, sometimes things just don't get done.

On the upside, I'm writing again. I have an hour lunch and I've been taking my laptop and working on a one of many novels. I'm pleases with the progress I'm making and am looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds. I do have a basic plot but characters have this bad habit of taking the writer down a path not expected. That's okay because it does make for a better story.

Different Dragons II which I edited has been released. It's the second and last collection of dragon stories set in places not normally done in traditional fantasy. If you enjoyed the first anthology, you'll love the second.

I have a convention in January I'm planning on attending and a writing conference in February. More on those later.

For those of you running around with Christmas shopping and planning family get gatherings, cherish your loved ones. There will come a day when there will be missing members. Let them know how much you love them. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Of Course, Cats go to Heaven

My oldest cat, Sammy, was put to sleep tonight. He was calm and happy to sit in my lap. I asked God to send Little One and Tabitha, who he'd grown up with and had already passed, to meet him. Not only did He send them, but also Dids, who was my cat from years ago and had never met Sammy.

They waited patiently for the formalities to be over and comforted me while I waited. Jesus showed up too, kissing my forehead. When it was over and Sammy had exited his body, the girls greeted him. Christ then took them all with him to heaven.

While I will mourn Sammy's loss, I know he and my other cats are reunited. They'll be playing at Jesus feet until one day, I join them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Cats

I'm having to wrestle with what I want and what makes sense. The battle right now is another cat. I go into the shops or shelters where there are adorable kittens and precious older cats who need homes. I talk with them, hold them when I can and then leave them in their cages.

I don't have a choice.

I know I can't bring home another cat until after my two senior boys pass. It won't be long. Both are having health issues. Their kidneys are failing. One is mostly deaf and moves stiffly. The other is getting more and more skinny. Not a healthy thing. If I wake up in the morning and they're still breathing, it's a win.

But the time is coming soon.

I know I will cry when I say my goodbyes. The most I can do right now is prepare myself, love on them and give laps. I have the precious knowledge they'll join Tabitha, Little One and Dids. They're all playing in heaven right now and awaiting the day I arrive.

I will have my youngest cat left. Original plans was that she would be my last. However, she needs a playmate to wrestle with and have games of chase with. So, when the right cat presents his or herself, they'll come to a loving home where they'll be welcome, after the initial hissing and introduction time passes, and live out life with me.

I just have to be careful I don't do the 'crazy cat lady starter kit'. I really don't want more than two cats. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Winter's first touch

The bite of winter approaches. Trees have shed their golden red of glory and stand bare against the blue sky. Wind twirls the dead leaves around, further littering the ground. Squirrels forage for yet more food and most of the birds fly south to warmer climates. Not all, the hawks, crows and magpies remain. They're seen perched on barren branches and electric poles.

Humans begin wearing jackets and sometimes coats, depending on the nippy air. Frost covers their cars and the yellowing grass. Sunlight ends sooner and darkness shortens the days. TV images flicker in windows.

Gone is the glorious warmth of summer and the color of fall.

Winter begins to touch the land.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Post MileHiCon Report

Friday, 10/24/2014

Went over early to help my publisher, WolfSinger Publications, set up her booth in the dealer's room. When a break was needed got my parking pass for the weekend.

 First panel I attended was How Small Presses Chose Covers featuring several local publishers. They talked about the varying quality of artwork and freelancers looking for work. Some come through and some don't. Some work directly with the authors, others don't. Very interesting and educational.

Visited the art show. 

First panel I was on was Short Story Sampler, Vol. 1 Discussion & Readings. We talked the challenge, or not, of short story writing and each of us read an excerpt from a short story. I chose Pack Rule. It's a short story in the charity anthology Tails from the Front Lines. 

Afterward I was an autograph alley. Did more networking than anything else. Later, the writers had a huge networking event in the bar. Huge turnout and I met many new authors and artists.

Saturday, 10/25/2014

Arrived around tenish and attended the Secret Fans of Fan Fiction: Why I read/write it.
Delightful fun and a great discussions. Always is when fanfiction writers are violating copyright.

At eleven, I was on my first panel, So you Want to be in an Anthology. Much better turnout than expected. The three panelist, all of which have worked together before, shared our experiences, set the basic guidelines and allowed the audience to pick a topic for which everyone in attendance would be allowed to submit a story. Acceptance subject to story quality. We also came up with a second topic for which I am now the co-editor.

Spent a couple of hours hanging out with my publisher.

At three went to the 'Popcorn' Books/Movies/TV I Love and Refuse to Apologize for.
Fascinating look at bad movies, or some not so bad, books and TV shows that are watched for fun.

At four I managed to catch Michael Carroll before his panel. He did the cover of my newest book and I wanted him to know how thrilled I was with it. Signed his copy of my book.

Socialized with several fellow writers. We gathered around one of the tables in the main lobby and talked.

Back to my publisher until the dealers room closed.

Sunday, 10/26/2014

Arrived before the art show closed. Wasn't really looking for anything, but it's always fun to watch the last mad dash of buying that goes on before it shuts down and auction begins.

Mostly hung out with my publisher, bought beads, my one treat to myself, and a book directly from the author.

Had one panel late in the afternoon. Writing that is Adored/Obsessed Over
Fun discussions on various writings and took questions from the floor.

Con over. Said by to many friends until the next con.

One fun thing that happened. All the guidelines I took for my new anthology, and my publisher graciously allowed me to display at her table, were taken by writers. Yeah!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Extinct Possibilities Guidelines

Extinct Possibilities
Edited by Dana Bell
Imagine a world where dinosaurs, ancient mammals or other creatures, like the dodo bird,  including lost branches of man, never went extinct. How would it have changed our world? What would their place or ours be?  What if…? In these alternate history stories, these questions or others should be asked and answered.

Research will need to be on these stories, both historical and archeological. Come up with story themes or ideas that haven’t been done.

What is not acceptable! Time travel or portals. No genetic manipulation or radiation mutation. No traditional monster stories. No first or last of its kind. No evolution to intelligence. No hibernation, it was frozen in ice, found in a secret installation preserved, etc. If it’s something you’ve seen on Syfy, it’s NOT appropriate for this anthology.

PG13 rating. No sex. No erotica. No graphic violence. Cussing to be limited to hell and damn. If you’re overly fond of the F word, your story will be rejected. Not opposed to faith based stories, just as long as it’s important to the character or story line. If they’re preaching on any belief system, the piece will be rejected.

Stories can be told in any time period, from the ancient past to the distant future even other planets. Looking for variety here so think beyond or before present day.

You don’t have to be published in order to have your story considered for this anthology. Editor averages two to four first sales for every anthology edited.  Feel free to read Time Traveling Coffers, Different Dragons, and Different Dragons II for a sampling of authors and styles.

Editor’s job is to make your story shine. Critiques and suggestions to improve are given for all accepted stories and why the story is rejected for all others.

All genres accepted. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steam Punk, Mystery, Romance, Horror, et el.
Flash fiction is acceptable. Stories length up to 6000 words. Longer stories by approval only and will be granted exclusively to authors editor has worked with before.

Stories must be formatted in New Times or Times Roman, 12 pt., double spaced with indents for paragraphs. Numbers must be written out unless they are an exception to the rule, for instance gun types. No semi-colons or colons. This is an editorial preference. Dashes only for emphasis and used sparingly. Pet word ‘that’ or anything crutch word used in excess. Ex. but, in a moment, for a moment, suddenly, etc. Accepting  rft and doc attachments ONLY.  Docx will be returned to reformat. Anything else will be rejected.

On the first page, please include: Name, address, phone number, email address, organizations you belong to and approx. word count. This is very important! Editor has had to contact writers and without this full info, your story could be dropped if you can’t be reached.

In the cover email, please, include a one line synopsis of the story and less than 50 words about yourself. Authors who have been accepted in previous anthologies, need only include synopsis.
Submissions open 01/01/2015 and end 04/30/2015. Stories received before January open or after end date will be rejected, UNLESS, permission is granted by the editor.

Submit to: In subject line: Extinct possibilities – story name – your name.
Feel free to pitch: Will accept pitches during MileHiCon and other local cons. By email, in the subject line : Extinct Possibilities – Pitch – your name.  Then pitch your idea in less than 25 words.

Author bios will be requested from all accepted stories. Do not send unless asked for.

WolfSinger Publications has expressed an interest in this anthology. Payment and contract terms will be discussed at a later date.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MileHiCon Schedule

Hi all,

Next weekend is MileHiCon, so I'm posting my schedule here.

Friday, Oct. 24th.

My first panel is at  7PM. Short story sampler, discussion & reading. In Mesa Verde 3.

8 PM will find me on autograph alley. Afterward I'm planning on attending the writer's networking in the bar.

Saturday, Oct 25th.

11 AM. So you want to be in an Anthology. Mesa Verda A. I'll be joined by Sam Knight, Quincy Allen and Guy Anthony DeMarco.

Sunday, Oct 26th.
 3 PM. Writing that is Adored/Obsessed over.

Otherwise, I can be found either helping my publisher in the dealer's room. I will be taking pitches for my next anthology all weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

God's Gift cover & other news

Received the cover art for God's Gift. It's absolutely beautiful. Michael Carroll, a local artist, composed it. For those who don't know Michael, he's the one who did the beautiful space paintings for NASA.

While much has gone on in my personal life, I'm running behind on my writing projects. Am hoping to get caught up later this month. I'm taking some days off before MileHiCon Oct 24-26. In fact, that week, this blog will not be posted until Thursday, 10/23/2014.Main reason is, it will contain the guidelines for my newest anthology, which opens to submissions 1/1/2015.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Different Dragons II Released

Big news : Different Dragons II will officially be released Oct. 1st. For those of you who totally enjoyed the first one, the second has new surprises and authors.

From the publisher:

Until 15 Oct – I am also offering a 25% new release discount to buyers who purchase through CreateSpace – please direct your readers to the link above and give the discount code TGERED9J for the 25% off – this code is only valid until 15 October.
For ebook copies – go to Smashwords - - enter coupon MVNN to download a free copy (you can also give this code to reviewers – it will be valid until the end of the year)
For readers you can also direct them to the Smashwords link and give them coupon ED26N to save 25% - this code is only valid until 15 October.

Get your copies now!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Bionic Woman - A Strong Female Character

I've been sick for a couple of days, so I spent some of my downtime watching season 1 of The Bionic Woman. It was nice to have a female heroine who did NOT fit the traditional role model. Jamie, played by actress Lindsay Wagner, was a smart, intelligent woman, who had small breasts, not large ones as is popular today.  Rather thick legs, which are noticeable because she jumps up on buildings and over fences constantly. Dressed fashionably, taught school and went on dangerous missions where she was more than capable of protecting herself.

It was also fun to note that the taboo of male co-workers touching her, which is NOT allowed today, wasn't off limits then, and makes the interactions between the characters far more believable. It softened the men, made them easier to connect with, and showed how strong Jamie really was.

Granted, there are some not so good episodes. That's true of any series. But it also gives writers a chance to view a strong female character, who embraces her feminine side, an opportunity to discover how to create someone the audience will love.

The Bionic Woman was a wonderful character study well worth any writer's time. Her one character flaw was missing parts of her memory, which made her romance with Steve Austin, Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man, an up and down business, where the watcher never was sure if they'd ever get together again.

Supported by Oscar Goldman, Richard Anderson and Dr. Rudy Wells, Martin E. Brooks, who appeared on both shows, the bionic pair went on many adventures together and separately. Had many love interests, and I won't spoil for you what ultimately happens with the two. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Making Progress

Made good progress on a couple of novels. Completed chapter 6 for Thunks in the Attic. Had to go check the doll house it's based on for a few details. The story is beginning to shape up and should be easier to complete. Although I say that cautiously since the unexpected can always happen.

Also wrote chapter 2 for the sequel to God's Gift. One part is well plotted out while the other has some points to be covered with others left open. The story will take some surprise twists and not go where the reader expects it to. That's a good thing both for the writer and the reader.

MileHiCon is fast approaching. That's the local Science Fiction Literary convention. Myself, along with many local and out of town writers will be there. It's in October.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Upcoming releases

Upcoming releases at MileHiCon from WolfSinger Publications.

1. Tails from the Front Lines. Official release date is Veteran's day.

2. Different Dragons 2. Below listings are the contents and authors.

Introduction : These are the Tales – Dana Bell
The Dragon’s Keeper – David Lee Summers
The Stalker – Lynn Donovan
Such is the Jungle – Quincy Allen
Changling – Rebecca McFarland Kyle
Suntosun Shipping – G.L. Francis
Of the Generation – Therese Arkenberg
Dot’s Lunch – The Watchers along the Line  - Dave Withe
His Lucky Color is Gold – Rebecca Leo
Hargmir, Ghost of Dragons – David Turnbull
Space Wings – H.A. Titus
Asim’s Gift – Kathryn S. Renta
Mr. Long’s School for Girls – Rob S. Rice
Bessie Returns – Christine Hardy
Amélie’s Guardian – Bryan Thomas Schmidt 

3. God's Gift. My new novel. Back cover below.

“God told us you were coming, tell us about His son.”
Major Larry Henry had never expected to hear those words spoken by an alien race. Let alone one with sharp claws and fangs they used for hunting and could easily shred him, his youngest sister and her boyfriend to shreds! But when his other sister Susanna and their good friend Kal Devon disappeared from their colony, Larry and the rescue party made the astonishing discovery they weren’t alone on Galilahi.
Yet Kal had hinted there were secrets being kept from the colonists. Both his friend’s sister and Susanna’s husband had been killed in hover accidents. The civilian and military leaders made a show of agreeing in public while Larry knew about the conflicts between them. Susanna had made discoveries about the dark fates of earlier colonies. Not to mention a jump in technology which should have taken centuries of evolution not just a few decades.
Now stranded on Galilahi with no way to relocate or return to Earth, Larry found himself wondering if the human colonists could co-exist with the feline natives or if human history would repeat itself.
Or did the God Larry believed in and trusted, have another plan none of them knew about?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Slower week

Pace this week has been slower. Started the next chapter for Thunks in the Attic, using one of the scenes that popped into my head. Received the final cover art for Different Dragons 2. Really love it. Also got a copy of the cover art for Tails from the Front Lines. Showed it off at work. Am working with another artist on the cover art for Supernatural Colorado. That one seems to be more difficult to nail down. Have two final versions and am deciding which one I like better.

Now, this Whovian girl will also admit I sacrificed some writing time to watch Doctor number twelve. Would not have missed it for anything. Enjoyed the premiere very much and am excited to see what they do this season.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exciting Things

Lots of exciting things happened last week.

First off, I found out Supernatural Colorado was rejected by WWC. Within twenty-four hours, it was picked up by WolfSinger Publications, contracts to the authors were sent about forty-eight hours later, and, a second small press offered to backup WSP, if needed.

To say the authors of the stories were thrilled, is an understatement. Many were already doing PR work on Facebook.

I still need to get the back cover copy to publisher. Unfortunately, my work schedule is such that I rarely getting any writing done except on my days off.

Second, I finished the first five chapters of my new book, Thunks in the Attic. I know Sky Warrior Books is thrilled.

Third, I talked with my collaborating author, J.A. Campbell, during Myths and Legends Con about our story. I will be working on it as well.

Fourth, I had so much writing related emails and matters to attend to, I got so overwhelmed, I actually ran away to a friends house. By the end of Saturday, I had them all taken care of, but wow! Everything does so seem to happen at once.

Fifth, I'm getting an opportunity to work with artists on several of my projects. It's experience I wanted, but sometimes it's a bit awkward. Like I'm the middle man, so to speak.

Sixth, I have a story coming out in Tails from the Frontlines. It's a good story and a spin off of my new novel God's Gift. 

Seventh, well, that's a surprise I'll share at a later date. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Myths and Legends Con

With great anticipation I loaded up my car Friday afternoon and headed for the Myths and Legends Con on the northern end of town. After a white knuckled drive up I25, the one road I am terrified of, and sitting in traffic for an hour and half, I finally pulled into the parking lot of the hotel.

I arrived in time to meet Chris and walked with him inside. He pointed the way to registration and I got my badge, checked into my room, and took my luggage to the fifth floor.

I also discovered I had a table to sell my books. Lucky for me I brought them, along with dragons to give away. I didn't set up Friday night, but I spent the time catching up several other authors. I had two panels. One was on who our favorite Doctor was and who our favorite hero in Harry Potter was. Not many attendees which was nice since we included them in the discussion.

I retired to my room and edited the beginning of my next novel, Thunks in the Attic. I actually slept. I rarely do when I'm at a hotel. Awoke in time for breakfast, which was free and ate with two con goers who recognized my name as one of the authors.

Saturday began with one very early panel on Alien biology. Afterward I checked out of my room, partially repacked my car, and then set up my table. Visited with a new author friend Ashlyn, who I discovered lives not far from me. Am excited and plan to get together with her soon.

I sold two copies of my novel Winter Awakening and one of the anthology Of Fur and Fire. My stock is getting a bit low and so I need get a few more copies. I normally don't because my publisher and I attend the sames cons. I'm also thinking of getting a minion. More on that at a later date.

Talked with my collaborating author Julie, caught up with Peter, Chris, Quincy, Kathryn, Guy, Sam, and several others. A few members of my filk group were there as well. They came by and said hello.

Had to leave early because I worked on Sunday. I was scheduled for one panel that day but Ashlyn covered for me. I'll have to find out how the panel went. It sounded like a good one. Sex and Violence in YA novels.

All in all. A very successful con. Had several authors asking what my next editing project is. Told them they'd have to wait until MileHiCon to find out. I even had one author approach me and want to be included. I'm very stunned, thrilled, and happy at the weekend outcome.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Off ot the publisher

Well, God's Gift is edited and returned to my publisher WolfSinger Publications. I added a dedication and changed my bio. I'm also amazed at what a well written book it is. Then again, I haven't looked at it for over a year. I surprised even myself at how well I covered all the bases, while yet leaving an avenue open for a sequel.

Originally, the book was supposed to be stand alone. However, I got to the end of it and went, but what about...? And so, there will be second, which my publisher has already asked me about. Maybe more, depending on how long it takes me to write the entire story arc.

In the meantime, there are two short stories written in the same universe. Pack Rule which will appear in Tails from the Front line and Homefall Search in the anthology Different Dragons. The characters from the latter will be appearing in the series.

So, I'm taking a breather, a brief one, before I start my next novel.

And if you're at Myths and Legends Con, I will be there Friday evening and Saturday. I'm on a total of four panels, two on each day. Sunday, I have to work. Am looking forward to catching up with friends and making some new ones.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nervous and Excited

I am both excited and nervous about my next book, God's Gift, coming out. In it I present Christianity in a positive light and a way of life for the characters. For them, it is not a religion. As the story unfolds many truths are revealed, questions are asked, and it is my hope, that those who read the novel, find questions to ponder.

The story is told from both the viewpoint of  Major Larry Henry, the oldest brother and his sister Dr. Susanna Gates. Their younger sister Jeanie is in it as well and brings a light heartedness in what is both a dark time and a new beginning.

The discoveries made shock them, yet do not alter their perception of what is truly right and how great and wonderous God truly is.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Different Dragons II is now done and submitted to the publisher. Am very excited about my newest anthology and it should be available later this year.

Next up, edits for my next book and then on to my other writing projects.

My next author appearance will be at Myths and Legends Con in Denver, CO, August 8-10. More information forthcoming. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You Never Know

Last of the edits done for Different Dragons 2. Whew! Worked over eight hours my last day off to get them done and sent back to the authors.

Then, I contacted Bryan Thomas Schmidt and asked to reprint a story he submitted for another anthology I edited a few years back. He said yes, so I zinged a contract off to him and got the latest version to include.

New Table of Contests

The Dragon’s Keeper – David Lee Summers X
The Stalker – Lynn Donovan
Such is the Jungle – Quincy Allen
Changling – Rebecca McFarland Kyle
Suntosun Shipping – G.L. Francis
Of the Generation – Therese Arkenberg X
Dot’s Lunch – The Watchers along the Line  - Dave Withe
His Lucky Color is Gold – Rebecca Leo
Hargmir, Ghost of Dragons – David Turnbull
Space Wings – H.A. Titus
Asim’s Gift – Kathryn S. Renta
Mr. Long’s School for Girls – Rob S. Rice
Bessie Returns – Christine Hardy
Amélie’s Guardian – Bryan Thomas Schmidt X 

Will be finishing this project as soon as I get revisions back. Then, it will go off to the publisher, WolfSinger Publications.   

 Sunday night, I went to an artistic gathering at a church I keep loose ties to. Got to hear a great speaker and meet some new writers and artists. My editor ear is always looking for new talent. Didn't really find any possibles, but you never know.